In December 2019, several cases of atypical pneumonia caused by an unknown agent were reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China. At the beginning of January 2020, it was announced that these cases were caused by a new coronavirus. The virus was later named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), which causes an atypical pneumonia-associated disease called Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID‐19).
There are reasons to expect SARS-CoV-2 to transmit less efficiently during the warmer months, but the precise mechanism responsible for this is not well understood. The effect of environmental conditions on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at the start of the pandemic may have already been observed where countries in the northern hemisphere with cold climates were more vulnerable to infections, while regions of the southern hemisphere were less affected. Several respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses and influenza viruses, tend to have large peaks of infection during colder seasons, especially in temperate regions. Cold temperatures, and the accompanying dry conditions, can lead to respiratory tract infections by facilitating viral transmission, weakening the human immune system, and increasing viral molecular stability.
The authors of this article investigate environmental factors and their role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as an informative response can give an indication of the future behavior of SARS-CoV-2.
Cold coronaviruses impair antibody immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection
Dawid Maciorowski et al, Environmental factors and their role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Biosecurity and Health (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.bsheal.2021.07.005
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